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The Sirens of Capri

by Catherine Rabier
adapted by Brian Stableford

Short Stories

"I bounded toward the entrance of the cavern and emerged on the side opposite the staircase by which we had arrived. A maze of steps plunged in darkness caused me to hesitate and lose the start that I had on my pursuers, whose furious cries I could hear, The silhouette of the man with the crow’s head was suddenly outlined in a ray of moonlight a few meters away. Horror caused me to lose my head and I charged through the thorny bushes in the direction of the sea, which I could see shining beneath my feet.

Suddenly, the damp ground vanished and I felt myself suspended in the obscure and bellowing void, as in my worst nightmares.

My scream had not ended when my mouth filled with cold and bitter water. I was submerged, and then projected by the waves against the rocks of Matromania. Up above, lost in the turbulence of the wind, I could hear muffled clamors. I had only escaped a bloody death to finish in an even more atrocious manner, asphyxiated and smashed by the fury of the sea.

I lost my strength and my hope of finding a place where I could get a grip in that obscurity, at the foot of the immense wall of the cliff.

Suddenly, a long cold form slid between my legs, and then a second, which lifted up my body, violently beaten by the surf, maintaining my head above the water. I felt myself drawn over the surface of the sea, miraculously espousing the movement of the swell, like a surfer toying with it. I could not see or comprehend what was maintaining me in that fashion, out of danger. The speed of my abduction increased, in a sentiment of complete security. I had scarcely had time to recognize the three Faraglioni in the distance when I had already passed beneath the arch of the middle one, in a flash.

Then a few of the houses of the little harbor of Marina Piccola were outlined and I felt that I was slowing down.

Soft, damp skin was pressed against mine—that of an unidentifiable body—and I was hoisted above the foaming waves that were hurling themselves upon the beach, not far from the Sirens’ reef. I was deposited gently on the gray sand, out of reach of the waves."

Published by Amazon Media in March 2016

The Brian Stableford Website